Skip to main content


Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders

Assistant Professor

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: History


Email: Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders
HM 447


Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders is an Assistant Professor of African American history. She holds a Ph.D. in History from Rutgers University where she concentrated in African American and United States history. Ashleigh teaches courses in U.S. history, historical memory, African American history and African American women's history. Her research and teaching interests include Civil War memory, black cultural and intellectual history, black radicalism, and public memory in the United States.

She is currently working on her book manuscript, They Knew What the War Was About: African Americans and the Memory of the Civil War which explores black Americans’ long engagement with the legacy of the Civil War and the myths of the "Lost Cause."

Before becoming a historian, Ashleigh worked at the American Assembly at Columbia University and in the HIV/AIDS section of UNICEF. She received a B.A. in political science from Wake Forest University and a M.A. in human rights studies from Columbia University, where her Master’s thesis explored efforts to bring the truth and reconciliation model to the United States.


  • Ph.D. Rutgers University
  • M.A. Columbia University
  • B.A. Wake Forest University

Courses Taught

  • HST 252: United States History Since 1865
  • HST 397: History of Black Women
  • HST 398: African American History Before 1877
  • HST 399: African American History After 1877
  • HST 485: Seminar in History

Research Interests

  • African American Culture and Intellectual History
  • Civil War Memory
  • Black Radicalism

Selected Presentations

Presentation, American Historical Association (AHA), “An Insult to the American People as Whole”: Confederate Emblems, the Lost Cause, and African American Criticism of American Democracy, January 2020.

Panelist, SHAFR, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations “Peace, It’s Truly Fascist!”: Black Antifascism in the Civil Rights Movement from World War to Cold War, June 2019.

Presentation, "African American Civil War Memory in the 20th Century," American Civil War Museum and Civil War Monitor Emerging Scholar Program, May 2019, American Civil War Museum Grand Opening.

Panelist, “Loyal to Their Own Cause: African American Public Memory, Commemoration and Contestation,” American Historical Association, January 2019.